How to maximize the potential of your push notifications

By Jasmine Henry

App fatigue is approaching epidemic levels among consumers. Customers are overwhelmed with choices from the millions of options in app stores, and 24 percent abandon apps after one use, according to Localytics research.

As organizations use tools to improve engagement in digital audiences, the growth of push notifications is a trend to watch. Targeting relevant pop-up notifications to installed-app and web users allows organizations to unlock real-time communications with their customers.

Live notifications increase the time customers spend engaging with mobile content by 53 percent, according to Business Insider, and increase one-month app retention rates by 35 percent. Though real-time, pop-up notifications carry benefits of engagement and profitability, sensitivity to customer preferences for content, relevancy and timing is vital.

Implementing live notifications on mobile and web

Enabling real-time customer notifications across mobile and web applications is increasingly simpler with unified mobile tools that enable brands to broadcast messages to all users or target communications by segment or behavioral data. Leading mobile tools offer unified platforms for developers, based on simple REST APIs that create a unified customer experience across web apps and mobile devices. Adopting a single-platform approach to the technical implementation of push notifications also allows instant access to sophisticated features such as silent and interactive notifications, rich content and user opt-outs.

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Maximizing return on push notifications

Your audience wants live notifications — but they want the right messages at the right time, or they’ll silence your pushed messaging. Here’s what research reveals about how brands can get their audience to opt-in to live notifications and keep their attention:

  1. Provide context for opt-ins: Adopting a soft ask — a dialogue box that appears before the mobile opt-in screen to educate web and mobile app users — can be key to initiating conversations, notes Mobile Marketer. This tactic allows brands to educate and provide context to customers before they are given the choice to decline or accept notifications through native subscription tools.
  2. Prioritize relevant messaging: The most common reason people ignore push notifications is irrelevant content, writes RetailDive. In contrast, the same study reports consumers prefer receiving real-time content that advertises coupons, customer rewards and insider insights into new products.
  3. Integrate behavioral insights: Brands that use both segments and real-time data, such as location, are likely to see the best results from integrating push notifications. Automating messages to be triggered by consumer behavior, such as walking by a beacon in a retail location, yields the best response. Notifications targeted by behavioral and profile data are more than four times more effective than broadcast messages, with average click rates of 30.6 percent, according to Marketing Land.
  4. Personalize notification timing: Analysis of 671 million notifications by UX Planet found mobile user engagement peaks when push messages are sent between 6 and 8 p.m. However, personalized timing is an even smarter tactic. According to Segment, using machine learning to optimize notification timing on a per-user basis increased open rates by 800 percent.
  5. Let behavior determine frequency: Consumers are nearly evenly split on whether they believe notifications are valuable or unwanted, reports Localytics. Though irrelevant broadcast messages are likely to drive minimal results, brands are likely best served by taking a nuanced, data-driven approach to how often notifications are sent.

Though there is some correlation between a high volume of notifications and user opt-outs, brands are likely best served by taking a dynamic, data-driven approach to notification frequency. By communicating regularly with highly engaged users and sending fewer notifications to less engaged ones, brands can minimize opt-out rates.

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Perfectly timed, targeted mobile customer experiences

Mobile technology has changed customer preferences and expectations. Today, consumers make purchase decisions in what Google has deemed “micro-moments,” which are intent-driven moments of decision-making and preference-shaping that occur throughout the entire consumer journey. By using customer profile data and real-time behavioral insights, brands that integrate push notifications into mobile and web applications can deliver targeted messaging for enhanced customer experiences.

Written By

Jasmine Henry

Jasmine E. Henry, MS

Jasmine is a commentator on emerging technology and freelance writer in the greater Seattle area. With a professional background in analytics, big data, mobility, and security that spans both the for-profit and government sectors, her professional interests include artificial intelligence…

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